Minsky magic does the trick against Neasden

By Danny Caro, week beginning 1 January 1970

Manager name: Jon Ison
Team: Los Blancos

Having earned a last-minute reprieve at the expense of HMZ, I doubt that many people inside the Los Blancos camp, let alone those outside it, gave them a chance against the Premier Division giants of Neasden B. You could get odds of 50-1 on a LB victory at some bookmakers, but manager Joel Minsky did not let any of these things get into the minds of his squad who adopted a siege mentality for what, in truth, was their cup final. But arriving at The Hive, you could see the belief and desire in each and every member of the squad. They were not there just to make up the numbers. They were there to make the backpage of The JC!. As LB keeper Josh Cohen, who was one of 14 heroes on the day, told JC Sport: "Minsky sent us out with the right mentality and tactics (to attack never mind how tempting it would be to shut up shop against Premiership opposition), the boys delivered. We would have beaten anyone on Sunday. 3-2 doesn't really do us justice."

This is how Minsky saw it: "Today's game in my view was all about the first 20 minutes. Neasden turned up thinking it'd be a walk in the park taking on a new team from four divisions below, but the way we ultimately came flying out of the blocks really unsettled them.

"We chased down every ball, won every 50-50 and didn't let them settle into their own rhythm. We really imposed ourselves on the game, and knew it was there for the taking even after going 1-0 down against the run of play.

"Our heads could've dropped, but if anything it took our game to a new level. Dany Kon scored not only our best goal of the season, but one of our most important too, and going in even at the break there only looked like being one winner.

"We tightened our stranglehold on the game over the first 25 minutes of the second half, and made it count with two superbly constructed goals.

"Today clearly wasn't the best day at the office for Neasden, but I believe that is solely because we didn't allow them to play their normal game. We defended as a unit, attacked as a unit and fought for everything from the first whistle. It was our most complete and mature performance of the season by a country mile, and its impossible to single out anyone for special praise as they were all great. Bring on the semis!"

Once he had calmed down, NWN joint-manager Sammy Carr was full of praise for Los Blanoc: "They were a well organised outfit and thoroughly deserved their victory."